LOCAL hero Niall Quinn will be given the keys to the city.
Sunderland City Council cabinet members have agreed to honour the former Sunderland player, manager and chairman by giving him the Freedom of the City.
Joël Batteux, the Mayor of Sunderland’s twin-town St Nazaire, will also be honoured.
Distinguished Irish international Niall broke with tradition in 2002 when he donated all proceeds from his testimonial game to charities including children’s hospitals in Sunderland, Dublin and India.
Speaking at the meeting Coun Pat Smith, portfolio holder for children and learning city, said: “Niall has done a massive, massive amount in this city for children and young people. There are many times on a Friday evening, even when he had a match on the Saturday, that we would come along to the Seaburn Centre to talk to children who were meeting there.”
Monsieur Batteux’s Freedom of the City award will further strengthen the relationship between the city and St Nazaire.
As well as supporting the direct international partnership that Saint-Nazaire shares with Sunderland, Monsieur Batteux’s commitment to Anglo-French relations has included significant work with British veterans.
He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2008. November 11 has been lined up as the date for the freedoms to be conferred.